Sunday, February 28, 2010

Larry Withers on DAVID GOODIS....To A Pulp

Brian Greene talks to Larry Withers about his new documentary on one of the greats of noir fiction at Al Guthrie's NOIR ZINE.

David Goodis’s personal life story is sheer noir, as grittily desperate as the tragic, hardboiled novels penned by the “poet of the losers.”  Much of his tale is already well known to anyone who’s read up on him: his rise to success as a novelist and screenwriter when his pulp classic Dark Passage was made into a Hollywood film, and when Goodis was subsequently hired on as a well-paid Warner’s scriptwriter; his return to his parents’ home in Philadelphia after a handful or so of unhappy years in Hollywood; the picture of him living out his last years haunting the seediest corners of Philly, then holing up in his childhood bedroom and pumping out classics like Down There (famously and brilliantly adapted for the Truffaut film Shoot the Piano Player), The Blonde on the Street CornerOf Tender Sin, etc.

The documentary was made by Larry Withers, who happens to be Elaine’s son.  When his mother died in 1986 Withers discovered among her effects papers relating to a marriage, and subsequent divorce, that no one in the family knew about.  He came to realize that his mother’s partner in this clandestine marriage was a writer named David Goodis.  Withers got intrigued and started learning about Goodis, and his thorough research into the author’s life story and writing record serves as the basis of the documentary.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Magma Productions


Jack Taylor Films

Irish Crime Drama at its best – from the novels of Ken Bruen

“The Guards” is the pilot TV movie for the prime time series based on the novels by ken Bruen.
 The pilot film is completed and the series is in development.  Check back here for updates, where to watch and latest news.
This website is intended as a resource and information centre for readers and viewers of Ken Bruen’s work.

Future Episodes include:
Jack Taylor has slid further down the slope of despair. Someone is systematically slaughtering young travellers and dumping their bodies in the city centre. Even in the state he‘s in, Jack Taylor has an uncanny ability to know where to look, what questions to ask, and apparently solves the case.

Jack Taylor has sunk to all new lows with his drinking. But when he gets a tip-off about a missing woman named Rita Monroe, his ex-cop brain pulls his body into action. Rita had been one of the Magdalene girls, a group of unmarried mothers who had been consigned into slavery in a laundry run by the nuns. Jack sets out on Rita‘s trail, uncovering religious hypocrisy and abuse.

The impossible has happened: Jack Taylor is living clean and dating a mature woman. Rumour suggests he is even attending mass… The accidental deaths of two students appear random, tragic events, except that in each case a copy of a book by John Millington Synge is found beneath the body. Jack begins to believe that „The Dramatist,“ a calculating killer, is out there, enticing him to play.
The decapitation of Father Joyce in a Galway church horrifies even the most jaded citizen. Jack Taylor, devastated by the recent trauma of personal loss, has always believed himself to be beyond salvation. An eerie mix of exorcism, a predatory stalker, and an unlikely attraction conspires to lure him into a murderous web of dark conspiracies.

Jack Taylor brings death and pain to everyone he loves. His only hope of redemption – his surrogate son, Cody – is lying in hospital in a coma. His insider Ridge tells him that a boy has been crucified in Galway city. Then the sister of the murdered boy is burned to death, and Jack decides he must hunt down the killer, if only to administer his own brand of rough justice.

A guard and then a judge die in mysterious circumstances. But it is not until a child is added to the list that Taylor determines to find the identity of the killer. What he doesn‘t know is that his relationship with the killer is far closer than he thinks – and that it‘s about to become deeply personal.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


                                                   With a new Foreword by Dennis Lehane

A corrupt African colonel has converted half his country's wealth into diamonds and smuggled them to a Manhattan safe house. Four upstanding citizens plan to rescue their new nation by stealing the diamonds back—with the help of a “specialist”—Parker, that is. He has the best references in town. Will Parker break his rule against working with amateurs and help them because his woman would be disappointed if he doesn’t? Or because three hired morons have threatened to kill him and his woman if he does? They thought they were buying an advantage, but what they get is a predated death certificate.

[jacket image]

                                               With a new Foreword by Dennis Lehane

Here’s Parker—planning to steal the entire payroll of an Air Force base in upstate New York, with help from Marty Fusco, fresh out of the pen, and a smart aleck finance clerk named Devers. Holed up with family in a scrappy little town, the hoisters prepare for the risky job by trying to shorten the odds. But the ice is thinner than Parker likes to think—and Marty’s ex-wife is much more complicated.

                                                    With a new Foreword by Dennis Lehane

Bank robberies should run like clockwork, right? If your name’s Parker, you expect nothing less. Until, that is, one of your partners gets too greedy for his own good. The four-way split following a job leaves too small a take for George Uhl, who begins to pick off his fellow hoisters, one by one. The first mistake? That he doesn’t begin things by putting a bullet in Parker. That means he won’t get the chance to make a second. One of the darkest novels in the series, this caper proves the adage that no one crosses Parker and lives

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

THE KILLING OF MINDI QUINTANA - A New Voice for Crime Writing Philadelphia

Freddy Builder is certain he is meant for more. More than his life in corporate America bondage. More than selling china to bluebloods in Philadelphia’s landmark department store, Chanet’s. Meant for more, meant for better, and lacking only, only an occasion to rise to.
And now that occasion is murder-of Mindi Quintana, an old college flame wanting simply to stay in his past.
Freddy’s crime is major news from the start. Mindi is the beautiful daughter of a renowned Philadelphia businessman whose dramatic fall a few years back captivated the city. A televised trial for Freddy is in the offing.
Meanwhile, he is writing the book about his relationship with Mindi everybody wants — a remorseless rewrite of her life, his own, and their miserably thin involvement. As excerpts of his book are published to acclaim, he gives articulate, sympathetic jailhouse interviews, publishes ghostwritten articles on prison issues, and coverage goes national. A new celebrity murderer is taking the stage — a killer with a book, a jailhouse literary sensation.
Freddy’s defense attorney, Philip, watches in disgust as his client builds his fame with the bones of his victim. As a career public defender, Philip thought he’d seen evil in all its incarnations. He’d lost his outrage, his passion for the law, and his marriage along the way. But Freddy’s case is a turning point for him — the public’s sympathy for the poet-murderer, the rebel, the killer as greater soul, stirs something dormant in Philip.
To stop Freddy, and to vindicate Mindi, Philip will have to violate his oath, even break the law. But with the help of Mindi’s best friend Lisa, he gives Mindi back the truth of her life and death. And he’ll deliver a comeuppance to a killer with a book.

Jeffrey A. Cohen is one of the freshest, brashest and voices to come out of the Philadelphia legal machine in a long time.  Disillusioned and disenchanted, he calls into question his chosen vocation and its teachings.

While every dime-a-dozen lawyer in Philly seems to be a  formulaic writer of some degree, Cohen has set a new bar for writing in the city of brotherly love!


Here it is! Drawn by super-talented artist Jeff Wong (who also provided the cover for Tower), the cover of Damn Near Dead 2, BFP's fall 2010 geezer noir anthology. I crack myself up every time I look at it!

Damn Near Dead 2: Live Noir or Die Trying Edited by Bill Crider. Introduction by Charlaine Harris.
Trade paperback original / $18 (Canada $21.95)
November 2010 / 978-1-935415-21-3

Featuring original "geezer noir" stories by Ace Atkins, C. J. Box, Christa Faust, Ed Gorman, Carolyn Haines, Joe R. Lansdale, Denise Mina, Marcia Muller, Bill Pronzini, Cornelia Read, Kat Richardson, S.J. Rozan, Don Winslow, and more!

But have you read the first, award-winning geezer noir anthology, Damn Near Dead (paperback original; $18)?? Find it here!

Join us at NoirCon for DND2's release with many of the contributors in attendance!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2010 Hammett Prize Nominations

The International Association of Crime Writers (IACW)

 has announced the 2010 Hammett Prize Nominations:

Congratulations to all these fine writers.  Also thank you to all the many other wonderful writers that submitted their work for consideration.

Bury Me Deep by Megan Abbott(Simon & Schuster)

Devil's Garden by Ace Atkins (Putnam)

The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry (Penguin)

The Long Fall by Walter Mosley (Riverhead)

The Way Home by George Pelecanos (Little, Brown)

IACW/NA awards 
The Hammett Prize annually for literary excellence in the field of crime-writing, as reflected in a book published in the English language in the U.S. and/or Canada. The winner receives a "Thin Man" trophy, designed by sculptor Peter Boiger.

Peter Boiger is a sculptor who resides in Northern California. Born in Altotting, Germany, Boiger apprenticed with Hans Frank in Burghausen, Germany and came to the USA in 1964. His major accomplishment in the area of Holocaust Monuments is the Valley of the Destroyed Communities, at Yad VaShem in Jerusalem, Israel. It is a maze environment of stone, commemorating the Jewish communities of Europe destroyed by Nazi Germany during the Shoah, the Holocaust. It is a major part of the Yad VaShem complex.

Monday, February 8, 2010

HOG NOIR by Karin Fuller

Smell the Coffee: Hog Noir

It was a dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. Punxsutawney. Pennsylvania.
Shamtown. Conville. The Nation's Deceivers.

There was something fishy going on in Punxsutawney, and I was determined to find out what it was. My name is Noir.  Gal Noir.

I was minding my own business, strolling about Punxsutawney after the festivities were over, after the last of the camera-toting tourists had snapped their final shots, when I first laid eyes upon him.

He was short and rugged. His brown hair shone like what Beethoven had in mind when he wrote the Moonlight sonata. He wore nothing but his fur coat -- a fur so tight it was like he'd been poured into it and forgot to say When. He moved in a way that could take a woman's mind off the state of the economy. At least for a minute.

Though I'm not the kind of hard-hitting newshound who works doggedly (or hoggedly, as the case may be) to out a beloved celebrity involved in a scandal, I knew who and what he was in an instant, and could not allow his charade to continue.

"Phil," I said, my voice husky from one too many cream sodas (three fingers, neat), "you're not a groundhog at all, are you?"

Phil retreated a few steps, an expression of surprise and alarm on his furry face. Then, much like I would've expected of one grown comfortable with his facade, his beguiling guise, Phil smiled confidently. Disarmingly. His teeth white and long. So very, very long.

More like the teeth of a woodchuck.

I pelted him with questions, rapidly firing one after another, hoping to catch him off guard.

Question. Question. Question. And then, "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"

His answer? "Seven."

"Gotcha!" I said. "You're an imposter! No one but a woodchuck could've answered that question. I've done extensive research on Google. Looked at countless images of groundhogs and woodchucks. And you, sir, are a woodchuck."

Phil yawned.

"So tell me," I continued. "What does PHIL really mean? Is it an acronym for Perspicacious Histrionic Impish Liar? Or Punxsutawney's Hilarious Imitation Lothario?"

Phil appeared unruffled by my accusation.

"Groundhog. Woodchuck. Land beaver. Whistlepig," said Phil. "They're all pretty much interchangeable."

Scandal scuttled, I left some apologies with the large, drowsy rodent and bid a hasty farewell. Headed back out into the dark night in the city that keeps well its secrets.

Chuckville. Hogtown.

Punxsutawney, Pa.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


HELLO, BELOVED!!! Welcome to the GHETTOHEAT® Web site!!! GHETTOHEAT® is intensified energy from the urban streets that spreads rapidly worldwide: S-S-S-S-S-S-S!!! GHETTOHEAT® is ambition, creativity, desire,  excitement, force, hotness, love, lust, passion, power, strength, and at times, trouble; all wrapped into one!!! It’s extreme, unexpected and rises at any given moment without warning.... It’s what exists before, during and after the fire—at all times, GHETTOHEAT® remains!!!

Worldwide, gather around! Come together and follow the pilgrimage to my home: GHETTOHEAT®! Won’t you spend some time with me? I really would love your company…. Before arriving, I ask that you please bring as many guests as possible—the more the merrier, as The House of GHETTOHEAT® is h-u-g-e, and I just enjoy entertaining you all! So let’s chill and hang out for a while, get to know each other better, as we build and vibe on positive energy. Beloved, did you make sure to wipe your feet on the welcome mat? Remember: no “dirt” allowed inside my home….Thanks.

Once again, people, I’m HICKSON: CEO of GHETTOHEAT®, also known as THE PRINCE of “HOTNESS”. On the gritty streets and within the book industry, many who know me well refer to me as “HUSTLIN’ HICKSON” because I seriously know how to make a dollar holla, even during these challenging times of the ongoing recession; economic slowdown occuring since December 2007. I’ve invested much time, energy, money and hard work in creating my company, GHETTOHEAT®, opening the doors on June 4th 2003, which I will discuss in my upcoming newsletter for January 2010. Today, I simply want to address the importance of maintaining home.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Film noir is a cinematic genre characterized by stylish Hollywood dramas that deal with the big issues of sex, violence and money. The noir world is full of morally dubious crooks, corrupt cops, insurance scams, gambling, drinking, false accusations, fast talking broads, dangerously attractive femme fatales, and murder.
The movies were made by some of the most important movie makers of the 20th Century including Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles; it was also a genre that attracted some of the best talent in poster designers. Film noir posters mirrored the strong design aesthetic of the movies themselves.
This post brings together 36 classic designs, laid out in chronological order, from the 1940s and 50s, the golden era of film noir.
In They Drive by Night, George Raft and Humphrey Bogart play brothers struggling as independent truckers in the Great Depression. Ann Sheridan plays a waitress serving up truck-stop specials and cheeky banter, while Ida Lupino is an executive with a taste for business and murder. The high point of the film is a courtroom scene with Lupino’s femme fatale disintegrating into eye-popping madness.


Hitchcock’s film adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s novel tells the tale of a naïve young woman marrying a wealthy widower and moving into his grand mansion. Her husband and his servants seem gripped by the memory of his dead wife. Hitchcock coaxed a convincingly uneasy performance from Joan Fontaine by persuading her that the entire cast and crew despised her.


Stranger on the Third Floor is a classic example of noir, with its unsettling urbanism, diagonal compositions, low-camera angles and multi-storey staircases; these elements are reflected in the film’s poster. The story follows an innocent protagonist falsely accused of murder and his desperate quest to clear his name.


In this detective story, Humphrey Bogart plays a private eye involved with eccentric criminals and their search for a precious statue, the Maltese Falcon.


Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman star in this noir romance, a film that frequently tops lists of the greatest movies of all time. An American expatriate living in Casablanca meets an old flame in the early days of World War Two, a meeting that leaves him torn between love and virtue.


This noir thriller sees a crooked politician, Paul Madvig, trying to clean up his past in a bid for re-election. When his rival’s son is murdered Madvig is in the frame and forced to prove his innocence.


Alan Ladd plays a contract killer with a conscience opposite Veronica Lake as a beautiful entertainer. Their relationship develops from murder and potential victim to an unlikely alliance against a common enemy.


Hitchcock’s crime thriller tells the story of a young woman discovering that her visiting ‘Uncle Charlie’ isn’t the man he appears to be.


In Billy Wilder’s noir drama, an insurance rep allows himself to become embroiled in a murder insurance scam. As to be expected, the scheme doesn’t go quite to plan.

The Lodger is a British noir about Jack the Ripper set in Victorian London.


The plot of Detour finds hitchhiker Al Roberts trapped by chance events and a spiralling mess of noir trouble.


Joan Crawford plays Mildred Pierce, the story of a hard-working and long-suffering mother and her spoilt, unloving daughter, a murder mystery told in flashback.


This classic noir follow events when a wealthy family hires Humphrey Bogart’s hardboiled detective Philip Marlowe. In the course of the case, Marlowe experiences murder, blackmail and a little bit of love.


Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner star in Ernest Hemingway’s noir tale in which an insurance investigator uncovers a web of treachery and crime linked to the seductive, deadly femme fatale Kitty Collins.



‘Stage Mentalist’ John Triton is a nightclub fortune teller whose fake stage show suddenly becomes real when he starts seeing terrifying visions of the future.


Obsessive, romantic Steve Thompson is drawn into the double-crossing underworld of LA gangsters in a dangerous bid to win back his ex-wife.


Written by Graham Greene, directed by Carol Reed and starring Orson Welles, The Third Man is an absolute classic of film noir, an atmospheric thriller set in post-war Vienna.


The Asphalt Jungle is a crime caper about a gang of thieves planning a jewel robbery. The film featured an ensemble cast including a small part for a then-unknown Marilyn Monroe, whose name doesn’t appear on the film’s posters.


This is a Spanish poster for Panic in the Streets, a noir tale of a policeman and a doctor who have 48 hours to track down a killer infected with the pneumonic plague. The film was shot entirely on location in the streets of New Orleans.


Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell star in this drama about a deported gangster’s efforts to re-enter the USA. Mitchum’s ‘honest’ gambler Dan Milner is bribed into taking a trip to a Mexican resort to help the deportee’s return. Along the way he meets chanteuse Lenore Brent, who turns out to be his kind of woman.


The Man with My Face is a story of identity theft of a particularly horrific nature. The implausible yet absorbing action takes place in Puerto Rico.


In Hitchcock’s thriller, a psychopathic socialite meets a tennis star on the train and proposes the idea that perfect strangers can commit perfect murders, an idea he intends to test in reality.


Wealthy investment broker Lloyd Rollins and his lounge singer wife Linda roll into Las Vegas for some high-stakes gambling. Their visit leads to murder, and the cop on this complex case turns out to be Linda’s old flame, police lieutenant Dave Andrews.

Unhappy at work and in his marriage, Chicago cop Johnny Kelly wants to run away with Angel Face, his stripper lover. During one crowded night, Kelly finds himself drawn into crime.


Two friends on a fishing trip perform an act of kindness when they pick up a hitchhiker. It quickly turns out to be a mistake, when the psychotic hitcher tells the pair of his intentions to kill them both at the end of the ride.


A police chief is sacked after he accuses a respected community man of the murder of fellow police officers. A deadly game of cat and mouse entails, the action ends with a rooftop chase scene.


Robert Mitchum stars as the religious fanatic who marries a naïve widow and starts asking questions about where the previous husband hid his stash of $10,000 taken in a robbery.

Private detective Mike Hammer is out on a late-night ride in LA when he nearly runs down a young woman. The woman, Christina, desperately begs for a lift, unlocking a series of tragic events.


After the death of media magnate Amos Kyne, reporter Edward Mobley is left juggling an impossible set of problems. He must prevent the media empire from falling into the wrong hands, rescue his romantic relationship, and stop a serial killer who is preying on the women of New York.


Powerful New York columnist JJ Hunsecker is willing to use any means possible to prevent his sister from marrying jazz musician Steve Dallas. To this end, he secretly employs sleazy press agent Sidney Falco to break up the affair. The film, starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, received indifferent reviews upon its release, but has since been recognized as an all-time classic.


Nightfall features a typically noir tale of a commercial artist on the run from police for a murder he didn’t commit, while simultaneously being pursued by criminals for cash he doesn’t have.


Orson Welles wrote, directed and co-starred in Touch of Evil, a dark tale of kidnap, murder and police corruption set in a Mexican border town.


This poster employs a simply sublime design aesthetic for Hitchcock’s psychological thriller exploring identity and dangerous obsession.


The Beat Generation is widely thought of as one of the last true film noirs. The story is set in a bohemian coffee house where members of the beatnik generation gather to recite poetry and sing songs, and follows the efforts of a police detective’s attempts to track down an arrogant and wealthy rapist. When the serial offender discovers that the cop is on his tail, he decides to target the law enforcer’s wife.